What Is A High Protein Diet
Protein is an essential nutrient for health. It is responsible for several vital functions in the body, including hormones, enzymes, and cell repair and maintenance. High-protein diets encourage eating more protein and fewer carbohydrates and fat to boost weight loss, improve energy, and enhance athletic performance.
Diets high in protein help decrease hunger, increase satiety, boost metabolic rate, and preserve muscle mass. However, when it comes to diets, one size doesn’t fit all, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Natural Ways To Get Enough L
A major benefit of obtaining L-arginine through diet is that it is difficult to get too much. Therefore, a person can generally avoid some of the side effects of consuming excessive amounts of L-arginine.
On the other hand, food consumption alone may not provide enough L-arginine to meet a persons needs. Therefore, individuals should discuss their options with a doctor before changing their diet.
The most suitable natural sources for L-arginine include foods high in protein. For some people, animal proteins, such as red meat, chicken and turkey breast, pork loin, and dairy products, may serve as their primary source of L-arginine.
For people who do not eat meat, plant-based proteins that contain L-arginine include lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans.
Individuals who find they have insufficient L-arginine to meet their needs may wish to modify their diet to include foods rich in protein.
A dietitian or doctor may be able to make meal plan suggestions to boost a persons natural intake of L-arginine before they need to take supplements.
Protein Is Hard To Store As Body Fat
During periods of weight loss, there are often times where more energy is consumed than expended. As such, minimizing how much of that excess energy is stored as fat is important.
The body processes the three different macronutrients in very different ways.
Leaving out a lot of jargon and mumbo jumbo, in order for protein to be stored as fat, it goes through a much different biochemical process than either carbohydrates or protein.
This process makes it much harder for protein to store as body fat.
One study found that protein is stored as body fat with roughly 66% efficiency, while carbohydrates store with 80% efficiency and fats store at 96% efficiency .
During weight loss, overeating protein results in much less stored body fat than overeating on carbohydrates or fat. If you are looking for ways to lose weight fast, consuming protein is a great option!
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Cons Of A High Protein Diet
Like most diets, there are potential drawbacks to eating a high-protein diet.
While high-protein diets may have many benefits, there are some potential negatives. While this eating approach may be an effective strategy for losing weight, important food groups such as fruits and grains are often cut out, which does not provide a well-rounded diet.
How Does The High Protein Diet Work
The high protein diets works on the basis of retaining muscle mass, increasing satiety and increasing your metabolic rate through the foods you eat.
The high protein diet is particularly good for those looking to lose weight in the short-term, Dr Mason says. “Short-term studies indicate that a high protein diet can promote weight loss because it makes you feel fuller for longer. It can therefore help you not to overeat. When combined with exercise, a high protein diet can help to build lean muscle.”
Lean muscle growth can help to speed up your metabolic rate “which, in turn, helps to burn more calories throughout the day which can also contribute to weight loss.”
However, Dr Mason adds, “The effects of high protein diets on weight loss in the longer-term are still being studied.”
But high protein diets are nothing new. They’ve been popular for generations largely because the nutrient is such an important part of a normal healthy diet. “It helps to build and repair all organs in the body, including muscles and bones,” Dr Mason says.
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What Does A Sample Day Of Eating A High
Here’s an example of what a typical day on a high-protein diet could look like:
- Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs with spinach and ¼ avocado
- Mid-morning snack: Part-skim cheese stick
- Lunch: Salad with a sprinkle of hemp hearts and 6 oz. of grilled chicken
- Afternoon snack: Plain Greek yogurt with ½ cup of berries
- Dinner: 6 oz. grilled salmon with roasted or sautéed veggies
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Protein Changes The Levels Of Several Weight Regulating Hormones
Your weight is actively regulated by your brain, particularly an area called the hypothalamus .
In order for your brain to determine when and how much to eat, it processes multiple different types of information.
Some of the most important signals to the brain are hormones that change in response to feeding .
A higher protein intake actually increases levels of the satiety hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin, while reducing your levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin .
This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is the main reason protein helps you lose weight. It can make you eat fewer calories automatically.
Protein reduces levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin, while it boosts the appetite-reducing hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin. This leads to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.
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Better Satiety And Reduced Hunger
Theres an inverse relationship between thermogenesis and digestion when it comes to protein. Because its thermogenic power is so strong, it actually takes a while to break down, digest and absorb it.
This makes it perfect for keeping you fuller for longer whats called satiety.
Studies show that protein regulates important appetite-controlling hormones such as peptide YY and GLP-1.
Protein also reduces concentrations of ghrelin a hormone released by the stomach that increases feelings of hunger .
Last of all, adding protein-rich foods to your diet will result in lower overall calorie intake. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , those with higher protein on their plate ate far less food overall.
Volunteers with 30% of food coming from protein consumed nearly 450 kcal less than those with 10%.
Over a typical 3-meal per day diet plan thats a whopping 1,350 kcal fewer calories!
Protein supports healthy weight loss by boosting metabolism, reducing hunger and elevating calorie-shredding muscle mass.
Protein Helps Prevent Muscle Loss And Metabolic Slowdown
Weight loss doesnt always equal fat loss.
When you lose weight, muscle mass tends to be reduced as well.
However, what you really want to lose is body fat, both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat .
Losing muscle is a side effect of weight loss that most people dont want.
Another side effect of losing weight is that the metabolic rate tends to decrease.
In other words, you end up burning fewer calories than you did before you lost the weight.
This is often referred to as starvation mode, and can amount to several hundred fewer calories burned each day (
For this reason, a high protein intake and heavy strength training are two incredibly important components of an effective fat loss plan.
Not only do they help keep your metabolism high, they also make sure that what is underneath the fat actually looks good. Without protein and strength training, you may end up looking skinny-fat instead of fit and lean.
Eating plenty of protein can help prevent muscle loss when you lose weight. It can also help keep your metabolic rate high, especially when combined with heavy strength training.
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What You Can Eat
A high-protein diet generally recommends getting more than 20% of your total calories from protein. That typically means eating fewer calories from carbohydrates or fats to keep your calorie total in balance.
No foods are expressly forbidden on a high protein diet, but eating more lean proteins and fewer refined carbohydrates, sugars, and fats are recommended.
There is no suggested meal timing for a high-protein diet. However, some people on a high-protein plan also practice intermittent fasting, which involves restricting calories to specific days of the week and fasting on others, or going for extended periods without eating each day, such as 16 hours a day.
How Protein Works In Weight Loss
Basal metabolic rate, diet-induced thermogenesis, and the energy cost from physical activity comprise everyday energy expenditure. Protein helps regulate body weight by promoting satiety, linked to diet-induced thermogenesis. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, reduces when you are on a high-protein diet, while GLP-1, peptide YY, and cholecystokinin, the appetite-suppressing hormones, increase. This helps in eating less and cutting down the calories easily.
A study conducted in healthy women concluded that when you trade high-fat snacks for high protein snacks like yoghurt, it helps in satiety and appetite control. Another study in adolescents also had similar results, where high protein soy foods as afternoon snacks helped improve satiety and diet quality.
Protein consumption for healthy weight loss
For healthy weight loss, you must look at losing fat mass and gaining muscle mass. Consume 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day and combine it with strength training to enhance muscle growth.
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Protein Makes You Burn More Calories
Due to the high thermic effect and several other factors, a high protein intake tends to boost metabolism.
It makes you burn more calories around the clock, including during sleep (
This effect is particularly pronounced during overfeeding, or while eating at a caloric surplus. In one study, overfeeding with a high protein diet increased calories burned by 260 per day .
A high protein intake can make you burn 80-100 more calories per day, with one study showing an increase of 260 calories during overfeeding.
Which Diets Arent Good For Lowering Cholesterol
Some diets stand out as being risky for heart health. Some of these are based on a popular low carb and high protein way of eating. While they may be effective for weight loss, they allow or recommend a high intake of foods known to raise cholesterol levels.
Some popular diets that recommend this approach may lead to weight loss but higher cholesterol. According to the , some have been linked to early death. It all depends on the types of fat and carbohydrate you consume.
Some diets that can contribute to higher cholesterol include:
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Pros Of A High Protein Diet
There are several benefits of a high protein diet.
- You’ll feel fuller longer. Including protein in your meals and snacks can help you to feel full and satisfied, which may help with portion control.
- You’ll build and maintain more muscle mass. A strong body performs better throughout daily activities, and muscles also burn more calories than fat, even at rest.
- You may be more inclined to choose healthy foods. When you plan a meal around a lean source of protein, you have less space on your plate for less healthy foods. And learning to eat different types of protein may also improve your diet. If you eat tuna, for example, you not only benefit from the fish’s protein but also the healthy fat it provides.
- May help with weight loss and maintenance: Eating a diet that includes plenty of lean protein provides several benefits when you’re trying to lose weight. High-protein diets help build and preserve muscle mass, boost your metabolism, and increase satiety.
- Boosts calorie burn: You also burn a few extra calories when you eat protein because your body has to work harder to chew and digest the food. This is known as the thermic effect of food. Keep in mind, however, that the number of extra calories burned is small so you shouldn’t create an entire weight loss program based solely on this benefit.
How To Prepare A High Protein Diet & Tips
Any healthy diet for weight loss or wellness should include a balance of the three macronutrients : fat, carbohydrate, and protein. A high-protein diet contains at least 20% of calories from protein. The amount of protein you should eat depends on a few factors, including age, sex, body size, and activity level.
General guidelines advise getting 10â35% of your total calories from protein. Active adults may require 1.2â1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. This equates to 82â116 grams for a person weighing 150 pounds. The official recommended daily allowance for healthy adults is a minimum of 0.8 g/kg/day, which equates to 54 grams of protein for a person who weighs 150 pounds.
If you use a calorie tracking app or website to count calories, it’s easy to check your daily protein intake. Many people on a high-protein diet use apps to track their macronutrient intake to ensure they get the correct ratios of protein to carbohydrate and fat.
A typical starting ratio for a high-protein diet is 30% of calories from protein, 30% of calories from fat, and 40% from carbohydrates. But a starting ratio is just thatâa starting point. Many proponents of high-protein diets find they do better with a little more or a little less of a macronutrient, which means you can adjust your macros as needed while maintaining a high-protein approach.
Following a high-protein diet typically requires:
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What Is The Thermogenic Effect Of Protein
It takes energy to digest your foodcommonly referred to as the thermic effect of food . And as it turns out, each macro requires a different amount of energy to digest.
Protein is thought to be the most thermogenic of all the macros, causing a small spike in metabolism to digest protein foods compared to fat and carbs . And it is commonly believed that eating more protein overall may lead to tiny increases in your daily metabolism and overall energy expenditure.
TEF only accounts for 10% of your total energy expenditure, but because dieting is associated with decreases in metabolism over timedue to prolonged caloric restriction and decreases in massthis minor effect on metabolism may be worth considering .
What Is A Healthy Amount Of Protein To Eat Every Day For Weight Loss
Remember: Everyones different, so theres really no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to a healthy amount of protein for you. Protein intake really depends on your size and activity level, but there are some numbers we can look at, explains , RD, who runs MPM Nutrition in New York.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is set at 0.8 grams of your body weight, but that is a minimum, not necessarily optimal, Meshlaum notes. TBH, your best bet is to try and get roughly 30 percent of your calories from protein. This rounds out to be about one gram of protein per pound of body weight, Meshlaum says.
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Protein Is The Easiest Simplest And Most Delicious Way To Lose Weight
When it comes to fat loss and a better looking body, protein is the king of nutrients.
You dont need to restrict anything to benefit from a higher protein intake. It is all about adding to your diet.
This is particularly appealing because most high-protein foods also taste really good. Eating more of them is easy and satisfying.
A high-protein diet can also be an effective obesity prevention strategy, not something that you just use temporarily to lose fat.
Over months, years or decades, the difference in your waistline could be huge.
However, keep in mind that calories still count. Protein can reduce hunger and boost metabolism, but you wont lose weight if you dont eat fewer calories than you burn.
It is definitely possible to overeat and negate the calorie deficit caused by the higher protein intake, especially if you eat a lot of junk food.
For this reason, you should still base your diet mostly on whole, single ingredient foods.
Although this article focused only on weight loss, protein also has numerous other benefits for health.
How Much Protein Should You Eat
Evidence shows while quality of protein is important, its quantity that plays a key role in maintaining healthy body composition and athletic ability.
Government guidelines suggest a daily intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram.
However, this is based on sedentary adults and designed as a minimum requirement to avoid deficieny.
Theres value in boosting that intake especially if you exercise regularly, want to build muscle mass or lose weight.
Experts currently suggest that athletes consume 1.3-1.8 grams per kilogram for muscle mass, weight loss or athletic performance .
This higher recommended intake considers the need for muscle high-protein synthesis. Its designed to generate optimal MPS and to shred your way to single-digit body fat.
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How Much Protein Should One Eat Everyday
As per a recent study Protein Consumption in Diet of Adult Indians: A General Consumer Survey 9 out of 10 people consume less-than recommended protein in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research recommends 0.8 to 1 gm protein per kg body weight per day to fulfil the basic nutritional needs of Indians.The ICMR calculated protein levels for Indians based on per kg of reference weight for all ages. Protein consumption of 2530% of total daily calories increases metabolism by up to 80100 calories per day compared to lower protein diets. Hence, for a 1200-calorie diet you roughly need to consume 72-75gms of protein.More recent research also shows that high-protein, low-fat diets promote weight loss more effectively than high-carb, low-fat diets.
How much protein is too much protein?
There has been a lot of debate on if consuming too much protein can harm the body?The answer is yes. It could lead to kidney stones. If you are consuming a diet rich in red meat and saturated fats to meet your protein requirements, you are at a higher risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
For an average person, who is not a pro-athlete or a bodybuilder, up to 2 grams per kilogram of protein per day is sufficient. The body cannot store protein, thus any excess is either consumed for energy or stored as fat. Excess calories, no matter where they come from, may be harmful to the body.
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